butterfly girl : where she goes when she

Eli Patrick

Our beautiful son, Eli Patrick, was born on 1 October, at 3:05am at 37 weeks, weighing 6lbs 3oz (2.8kg). It was earlier than expected (37 weeks), but he is healthy and we are just so incredibly in love with him. I honestly can't imagine life without him now. He is super cuddlesome & loves snuggles, winking like a pirate (I love his little pirate expression!), and at the moment, sleeping! I can't believe he is truly here, he is ours to love forever. There is so much to learn right now but I am so smitten with him. He is really here, and I am so happy.


books read in 2014

Books completed in 2014...

01. Tamil Tigress - by Niromi de Soyza (finished 1-January)
02. Unbearable Lightness - by Portia de Rossi (finished 16-January)
03. Best Food Writing 2013 - edited by Holly Hughes (finished 21-February)
04. Shopaholic & Baby - by Sophia Kinsella (finished March) [reread]
05. Daughter of Smoke & Bone - by Laini Taylor (finished March) [reread]
06. Days of Blood & Starlight - by Laini Taylor (finished April) [reread]
07. The Hunger Games - by Suzanne Collins (finished April) [reread]
08. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - by Suzanne Collins (finished April) [reread]
09. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - by Suzanne Collins (finished April) [reread]
10. Dreams of Gods & Monsters - by Laini Taylor
11. Mists of Avalon - by Marion Zimmer Bradley [reread]
12. Madness: A Bipolar Life - Marya Hornbacher (finished September) [reread]
13. Shopaholic to the Stars - Sophia Kinsella (finished December)

my greatest addictions: black phoenix alchemy lab & black phoenix trading post

-- photo heavy post below! --

Most of you will know by now that I am quite addicted to the perfumes & other products created by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab and Black Phoenix Trading Post. Not only are their products of amazing quality, but their customer service is exceptional and the community of other BPAL fans is amongst one of the most civilised & intelligent I've ever come across in my 15+ years of being online. For those that don't know, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab (or BPAL, for short) specialise in handmade perfume oil blends, with their sister site Black Phoenix Trading Post (BPTP) using these oils in products such as bath oils, hair glosses and more. The perfume oils do not use alcohol (like most department store perfumes), and their ingredients are of the highest quality and hand-blended to create amazing scent combinations. There is a sizable General Catalogue of perfume oils of varying themes, including Alice in Wonderland, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Shakespeare, Travel-inspired, Steampunk, and Role-Playing Games, as well as collaborations with writers such as Neil Gaiman and artists such as Gris Grimly and Mike Mignola, AND scents to commemorate fandoms such Labyrinth and Fraggle Rock. As well as all of these, there are monthly updates around the time of the Full Moon ("Lunacies"), collections for Halloween, Christmas ("Yules") and Valentines Day ("Lupercalias"), random other collections released throughout the year (eg, summer scents), and Event Exclusive oils for conventions such as Comic-Con and Bats Day. The list goes on!

I started buying BPAL in 2007 after realising that department store perfumes just weren't interesting to me anymore; after my first purchase of imps (samples of the lab's perfume), I quickly fell in love and haven't stopped since. With all the releases of new perfume oils (at least every month, often more than that), there are always new things to try & fall in love with! Thankfully there are people who run decant circles, which are samples of Limited Edition perfumes to try (the Lab only sell samples of the General Catalogue scents), so there are cheap(er) ways to test all the new releases. After 5+ years, I've worked out what will work well on my skin and what to avoid, but often I can be surprised! I started off loving floral scents the most, but now I love anything with a Snake Oil base, red & black musks, frankincense & amber & other resins.

Since I talk about BPAL quite a lot, I thought I would finally show some pictures of my collections... It really is my happy place! Which might sound very strange, but there is something so lovely about choosing out a scent to wear for the day; about reading the stories & inspirations behind the new collections, appreciating the artwork on the labels, and being excited when something new turns out to be a "OMG-I-love-this-scent!" moment. I wear perfume every day, and it is just something lovely to remind me that no matter how busy day-to-day life gets, there is always a way to appreciate the small things. This is my version of "stop and smell the roses".

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So there you go; a little journey into my world of perfume! There are a few other things that haven't been photographed here - I have a couple of Trading Post candles, as well as a couple of tins of lollies, and lots of bath oil decants, stickers, postcards and notepads. But this is definitely the bulk of it! Have I spent too much on BPAL? Of course i have, but I don't regret any of it. As I said, it is my happy place! Through BPAL I have been exposed to new writers and artists, different ways of thinking, folklore & history & literature... it has been entirely worth it. I hope the Lab continues to release new scents & collaborate with other creative minds, for many years to come.

butterfly girl : where she goes when she


A few people have mentioned moving their journals over to Dreamwidth lately. I don't want to lose touch with anyone who does move, so I have created an account over there, which I will use just for reading.
I have no plans to move my own journal; I have 11 years of archives here & a permanent account, so I will stick it out.

But if you have moved, please add my DW account - yesanastasia so we can stay in touch?

and she dances

some good in this world

“It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end, because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was after so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even Darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it’ll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, that I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories… Had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.”

“What are we holding on to, Sam?”

That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.

{Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers}

Happy new year, 2013.


books read in 2013

Completed books in 2013...

01. The Elementals - by Francesca Lia Block (finished 1-Jan)
02. Affluenza: When Too Much is Never Enough - by Clive Hamilton and Richard Denniss (finished 19-Jan)
03. The Devil Wears Prada - by Lauren Weisberger (finished 22-June) [reread]
04. Revenge Wears Prada - by Lauren Weisberger (finished 3-July)
05. The Ocean at the End of the Lane - by Neil Gaiman (finished 7-July)
06. A Song of Ice & Fire: Game of Thrones - by George RR Martin (finished 24-August)
07. A Song of Ice & Fire: A Clash of Kings - by George RR Martin (finished 18-September)
08. A Song of Ice & Fire: A Storm of Swords (Part I: Steel and Snow and Part II: Blood and Gold) - by George RR Martin (finished 6-October)
09. A Song of Ice & Fire: A Feast for Crows - by George RR Martin (finished 24-October)
10. A Song of Ice & Fire: A Dance with Dragons - by George RR Martin (finished 7-December)
11. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban - by Malala Yousafzai (finished 29-December)
lipgloss queen

"and can lip gloss save a nation, mr powers?"

I don't think it's any secret that I am fond of makeup & beauty products & perfume oils, and I think a few of you are too, so I thought I would share some photos of my latest "hauls".

I'm going to preface this by saying that I've definitely bought a lot of things lately (!), but 1) I had some money that I -had- to spend by the end of March (long story, it has to do with salary packaging & tax benefits & the end of the fringe-benefits-tax year here in Australia), and 2) by purchasing these from overseas, they were SO MUCH cheaper than buying them here; so things like Nars lipglosses, which are $45 over here, were purchased for between $16.99 - $24 from the two US sites I used. Since the Australian dollar is actually worth more than the US dollar now, it makes for a real bargain (those insane markups made sense when the Australian dollar was worth 60% of the US one, but now?) I have to admit I do feel a little bit of guilt for not purchasing within Australia, the effect on the economy and all that stuff... but if I have money to spend on makeup, well of course I'm going to choose to shop somewhere that I can buy more things!

Don't judge plz... I just have a fondness for pretty makeup >.<

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I think I need to go on a no-buy now... for the next 5 years.